Erma Lucille Mills
I was born the oldest of seven children in the home of Everett and Dimple Mills. My Dad was born on April 18, 1897. My Mother was born on November 13, 1907. That made Dad ten Years older than my Mother, but they both passed at the age of seventy-five. My mother met Dad when they were working on State road thirty-seven. They were married when Mom was sixteen in May of nineteen and twenty-five. They lived in a tent the first year of their married life on what was the John Job place across highway thirty-seven at the Union Chapel road. I think "Little" Jess Goldman lived on the farm later. I wish I could ask them more about that first year in the tent. I think it was dug out some and a tent put over the top of it. I do remember them saying that it wasn't bad at all.
The second year they moved down on Rainbow curve in Vick Butts house. That is where I made my grand entrance. They then moved to the Breeden house just west of Union Chapel Church. My sister, Norma was born there. They then moved a little farther west to the George Miller farm and Sam was born there. It seemed that every time they moved they had an addition to the family. The next time they moved south of the church. They bought an eighty acre farm and lived there till Dad passed away in May of 1972. The other four children, Paul, Hilda, Anna and David were born there.
I had to walk to the Roberson School my first four years, then I got to ride in a covered wagon owned by Oscar Hammond. Some of my grade school teachers were WW. Jones, Wallace Myler, Nellie Jackson, Opal Mason, Helen Miller. We had no running water except when we run to the well in Jess Goldman's field to get it. At first, we only had a bucket with one dipper for everybody to drink out of, then finally we got a give gallon crock water jug with a spout and every body could have their own water cup to drink out of; that was a welcome improvement.
We always looked forward to the "Peddler" coming each week. We all tried to have a penny or two to spend. I liked the "All Day" suckers. I think they were Carmel flavored. We took our lunch to school. The main part was the biscuit. Sometimes it had meat, jelly or a fried egg on it. I often traded sandwiches with Betty Roberson. Her sandwiches were made with light bread. (I wish I had some of my Mothers biscuits and sorghum right now).
I always looked forward to the Pie Suppers. The girls would bring the pies; the boys would buy them, then sit with us and see if we could eat it all. I didn't mind sitting with some of the boys and eating together. The last day of school was a big day. The parents would bring dinner and we would have a big feast. Sometimes the teacher would bring a big bag of big fat hot dogs and we would have a wiener roast. It was a good day, but it was also a sad day, because we would only see our friends on Sunday at church. We had to work a lot in the Summer time on the farm, doing regular chores and canning a lot of vegetables for the winter.
I quit school at the ripe old age of sixteen, but I don't remember why. I guess I just got tired going to school. In October I stayed with Lola Goldman when her daughter Carol was born. I stayed with Goldie Goldman Miller when her daughter, Susie was born. I stayed with Goldie for about a year when her husband Lester was killed in the service. While I was staying with her, I met Paul Scott who later became my husband. He was home on furlough from the service. He was stationed in Florida. We had our first date in January, nineteen and forty-five. We were married on August fourth, nineteen and forty-five. I went back to Florida with him for two months until he was discharged from the Army.
We have two children. Our daughter, Barbara has four children. Her son, Chris was one of the first ones to be killed in Somalia on August eighth, nineteen and ninety-three. Our son Richard and his wife Diana have two children. He is retired from the Indiana State Police Department. He was too young to sit down and do nothing so he is now the Sheriff of Crawford County (Be careful when you pass through Crawford County).
We will be celebrating our fifty-fifth wedding anniversary on August fourth, two thousand and one. We have six grand children and twelve great grand children, so far. We lived on the George Miller farm for a few years, but most of our married lives have been lived in Grantsburg. We just got us a new double-wide last year, for which we are grateful. Paul worked at the English furniture factory for a few years, and then retired from working in New Albany. I retired as a cook at the Crawford County High School. We now live in Grantsburg and are in pretty good health. I will be looking forward to reading your memories of your childhood. Erma Mills Scott
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Hilda I. Mills
Hi: My name is Hilda. Along time ago I came to live with my parents Everett and Dimple Mills, two sisters and two brothers, Erma, Norma, Sam and Paul. I arrived at my parent's 80 acre farm which is located on the first road left past Union Chapel Church. Back then you knew everyone who lived on your road. The first house on the right was where Howerton and Ethel Wilson and their three sons Wayne, Cedric and Clifford lived. The next house down the hill over a bridge and up another big hill on the right was Everett and Ethel May's farm with their two children Everett Conrad and Norma Jean. Up another big hill and down another steep hill on the left is the Mill's farm. There is one more house on this road. The Grady and Helen Goldman farm with their three sons Novel, Norman and Jack.
I arrived at the Mills farm on April 18, 1935 (I told you it was a longtime ago.) I arrived on my father's Birthday. What a wonderful birthday present. I think he must have liked his present for every year that he lived after that, he wanted me to come home for this special occasion. Back then you had neighbors even though you lived a long ways apart. It seems as though we had more time then, and we visited our neighbors. One more neighbor lived across three fields to the east; their name was Ollie and Frances Belcher.
We had phones back then, but they were really different. It was a big oak box about 12x18 with a thing that stuck out in front to talk in and a thing you took off the hook to put up to your ear to listen in, so you had to stand real close and put your mouth right up there to be heard. To call you took down the receiver and turned a little crank on the right side. We didn't have phone numbers; you would turn the crank, one long time for one person two short and a long for another. Each person had a different combination of rings, so they knew when it was for them; of course everyone on the line could pick up the receiver and hear all the gossip or news.
Well, I told you all that to tell you this. On October 7, 1939 when I was three and one half years old, it was time for a new baby to come to our house. My mom called Frances to see if she could come over and us kids went out to her house. When we came home there was a little baby sister that Old Dr. Lynch brought in his suitcase, at least that's what they told me. They named her Anna Marie. We became good friends and I guess I would have to say today, she is my best friend. On June 27th, 1944 Dr. Lynch came again with that suitcase and brought me and Anna a little brother to play with. They named him David Ray, we liked to play with him and carry him around.
I remember going over to Grady and Helen's house in the evening. We had apples and popcorn. Grady sure could pop good popcorn. Oscar and Rosie Hammond came to visit us a lot on Sunday afternoon. Us kids would sit around and listen to the adults talk, which I thought was interesting to listen to their old stories of what they would have called the good old days. (I wonder why our children and grandchildren don't find the stories of us old folks interesting and just sit and listen to us tell of our good old days?) I am sure I started attending Sunday school at Union Chapel as soon as possible after I was born. We had to walk about two miles. When I was older, maybe four or five if I got tired Dad would cut me a stick horse and that really helped. My first Sunday school teacher I remember was Martha Miller; I think she was the best teacher I've ever had.
I remember one of the Preachers we had for Revival that had children's service before the main service. He had a little book he called catechism Anna and I studied it and answered all the questions we got a silver dollar. Well, I guess it is about time for me to start to school, I think I am seven now. I started to school at Roberson One Room School, which was just a very short distance up the road from the Union Chapel Church on the right. We didn't have kindergarten back then, so I started in first grade when I was seven. I think my first teacher was Nellie Jackson. Let me tell you how I got to school I know you don't think I am that old, but I went to school in a covered wagon. Oscar Hammond was the driver of those two horses.
In the winter when it was cold he had a stove in the back and benches along the side. I don't remember how long we had that bus, but we got a new more modern one. It was a truck with a home made camper on the back with benches on both sides and a stove in the middle. We took our lunch to school in some kind of a bucket, probably a molasses bucket. Two or three steps go up to the school house door. On the right just outside the door was a big iron bell with a clapper in it and a handle on the side with a rope you pull and it would call us to school, letting us know now we must come in. Just inside the door on the right was a shelf with a white water jug with blue stripes around it and a spigot near the bottom. Just to the right of that was the girls cloak room; with a long rack to hang our coat and a shelf above the coat rack to put our lunch bucket on. On the left of the door was the boys cloak room, with a rack for their coat and a shelf above for their lunch bucket.
Oh yes where are the restrooms? Go back out the front door, on the left down a path about a hundred yards is the girls two seater out house, and out the door to your right about one hundred yards down the path is the boys two holer outhouse. Let's come back in the school house, through the second door to the left was a big wood stove. All along the south wall was a black board. In front of the blackboard and about the middle of the room was the teacher's big oak desk. Just a little to left of the teacher's desk was the recitation bench. A recitation bench is a bench with a back on it something like an old wooden home made church pew. When it was time for our class to recite we were called to the bench, like "would the second grade please come forward," then we would be called on to read or go to the black board to write something or do a problem depending on what subject we were doing. In the rest of the room were the rows of desks.
On the north wall were windows that looked out on a corn field. On the window casing to the left side was a pencil sharpener. I can almost smell the oiled floor and the chalk dust and taste the good well water. The water had to be carried in buckets for a well some distance from the school. Every one of us wanted to go get the water, which meant we could go out before recess to the well. Two children were chosen each time. We went up the road crossed over the fence on a stile to the well.
We had a fifteen minute recess before lunch, and fifteen minute in the afternoon. When it was lunch time we often went to the woods to eat. I don't remember for sure what we had for lunch probably jelly, on a biscuit, I do remember a few times we had a bologna sandwich and I thought I really had a good lunch. We played in the wood until we heard the first bell ring, then we would hurry back before the second bell rang. One of the girl's favorite games was hopscotch, and the boys liked to play marbles or spin a wooden top with a string, and of course ball. I think school let out at 3:00.
Once every year they would have a Pie Supper. I think now schools have a Fall Festival it would something like that. The girls were to bring a pie, and there were also cakes. I supposed the girls were to make the pies but I am sure mom made ours. They had an auctioneer there. He would auction off the girls pie, the boy or man who bought it would get to eat it with the girl. (Yuck) Then there was the cake walk; we would pay a nickel and get in a circle walk around the room as they played music. If you were in the designated spot when the music stopped you got the cake. They did this more than once and you could pay and be in it as long as you wanted until all the cakes were gone.
When we got home from school in the evening there was always work waiting for us. Just about every child that attended school lived on a farm. As soon as we got home we changed clothes and started our chores. Some of my chores included shelling corn for the chickens, carry water for them from the well way down over the hill and carry in the wood. We had a wood burning kitchen stove to cook our meals on. I know my Mom could make the best biscuits and gravy in the country. When I was too little to milk the cows, I thought that would be so much fun. Well the day finally came when some one taught me how, then I had to do it and would you believe, it wasn't any fun at all. We had a cream separator, it had a big bowl on top with a spout on one side near the bottom some disks and two spouts a handle you cranked. You poured the milk in the big bowl on top and cranked the handle real fast and the cream came out of the top spout and the skimmed milk out the bottom spout. I could never understand how that worked. We then took that rich cream and put it in a churn, turn a handle and it turned into butter, we had lots of cream we put it into big cans and sold it. The pigs got what milk we didn't use. We had to slop the pigs, and throw hay down out of the barn loft for the cows and horses.
Well it's time to get back to school. I loved the day peddler Dutch Nash came by and stopped at our school. I think it was on Wednesday and most of the kids had a nickel to spend .He had tablets, pencils and lots of things we could buy. Can you imagine the kids buying Ludens or Smith Brother cough drops; I think that is what I got almost every time, not because I had a cough, I ate them for candy. I think my favorite day was Friday, we got to put away our books and Roberta Postal would come in her little green car with a rumble seat, to tell us a Bible story and sing songs. What a Highlight, kids miss so much today.
We always look forward to school being out; spring and summer had some good times but some things I didn't enjoy. I will tell you about the ones I didn't like first. Mom would get us early to help her plant the garden then when it began to grow she would get us up early to hoe before the sun got too hot then, just a little later it was harvest time, and we had to get up early to help pick those beans, tomatoes, corn and everything else to can. That wasn't any fun, but I love green beans, corn, tomatoes and carrots. Another thing that wasn't fun that had to be done almost before the sun came up; Mom would take us blackberry picking, oh how I hated that job we picked "soooo" many berries. The briars would scratch us and the chiggers would get on us. We would go home and take the berries down over the hill to the well to wash them two or three times. Then we would carry them back to the house and start cooking and straining them for jelly. We had to stir that stuff until it thickened and poured into jars that I had to wash. I thought when my hands got to big I wouldn't have to do that job any more. It didn't work that way. When my hands were too big to go into the jars, I had to wash them with a little jar mop. To this day I am not very fond of Jelly.
Now for some of the things I liked. I think my favorite thing was when we threshed wheat. Long before the threshing crew came we had cut the wheat. As it was cut it was tied in bundles we stood these bundles on end with the heads up, this was called a shock. We laid a couple of bundles over the top to help protect the grain until harvest. All the farmers around would prepare their wheat in this manner. Now it is time for the threshing machine to come. All the farmers around would help each other moving from farm to farm. The men would work with the wheat and their wives would come and help prepare dinner for the men. What a feast pies, cake, mashed potatoes, corn, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, slaw, green beans, carrots, pork chops, fried chicken and any thing you might think of (You have probably heard the expression you have enough cooked for a threshing crew this is where that phrase came from.) The men hauled the wheat in from the field on the wagons they had brought. They have a big machine called a threshing machine. They put the wheat on a conveyer belt that carries it up into the machine. There is a big pipe that blows the straw into a big stack and the wheat goes out of a smaller pipe into a Bin.
After it is all finished and the farmers are gone home Anna and I make us some drinking straws We find nice long straight straws and cut them off however long we want them, which works just as good as any straw, maybe better. We get new mattresses; we take our straw ticks down to the stack of fresh straw and fill them as full as we want to fill them and now we have our new fresh mattress. Now we can climb up to the top of the stack and slide down; doesn't that sound like fun for two little girls?
While we are here on the farm, let's just talk a little more about what goes on here since all of our neighbors are farmers. Let me tell you more about this place. When you come down the hill you turn left into our yard. We have up a picket fence, outside of the fence is mowed too, open the gate and come on in; the fence is not white picket, it is just old gray weathered wood, like barn wood. In side the fence is three huge maple trees, dad planted one of them and it is amazing how big it grew in the 40 some years they lived there. Where we played under the trees there is no grass growing under them, we kept it wore off It is hard ground some times we had to sweep it just like you would a room in the house. Mom wanted the yard to be kept nice too. We planted dahlias or zinnias all around the fence; we mowed the yard with an old real mower. The house has a concrete front porch, there are two doors and two windows here, the door on the left goes into a bedroom, so let's open the door on the right, come on in this is the living room. In the center and to the left is the wood burning stove. To the right there is a window. A chair sets there in front of the window. Just to the right of the entry door sets the couch. In later years there was a chalk drawing by Ray Williams called "You are drifting too far from the shore" it shows a boat just about ready to go over the falls. I think at one time we even had a bed in this room. To the left of the living room is a bedroom. To the right of this bed room with one step down is mom and dad's bedroom.
Straight across the living room and one step down is our big eat in kitchen. On the South side against the wall is a long wooden bench, for us kids to sit on and in front of the bench is a big table. Just to the end of the table is an old Hoosier cabinet. The cabinet has a porcelain top, a flour bin with a sifter on the bottom, two doors at the top for dishes and a door that rolls up like a roll top desk, to cover the flour bin, lard pitcher, milk crock, salt, soda, and baking powder. It has a board you can pull out to make biscuits on or you can just make them on the porcelain top, which also pulls out a little to make more room. However mom did it she sure made delicious biscuits.
After the cabinet on the same wall is a door that goes out onto a screened in porch. On this screened in porch is where we brought in the milk from the barn and the cream separator I mentioned earlier is in here. I didn't tell you about another food that came from the milk. My mom made home made cottage cheese, there was no such thing as bought cottage cheese then, at least we never had any. It could not have been as good as ours. If you have never had home made cottage cheese you don't what you're missing. Also on this screened in porch is a table with a bucket of water and a wash pan, let's wash our hands and go back in to the kitchen. Back inside to the right is a window on that wall. While we are at this window, let's look way out across the fields and see our neighbor's Ollie and Francis Belcher's house. We can also see our barn lot from this window, but we will look more at it later. A little to the left of the window and out a ways from the wall is the wood burning kitchen stove. It has two doors at the top that open down to put cooked food in to keep it warm. This is called a warming closet. It has four lids on the part where you set the food to cook. You can put wood in one of these or it also has a door in front to put wood in. On the right of the burners there is a lid that rises up and there is a big place for water, this is called a reservoir. We keep this full of water and we can have hot water for washing our face and hands for shaving or hot water for doing the dishes and cooking.
Behind the stove in the corner are some shelves where we keep our pans. On the North side is a window under the window is a table for washing dishes, you know we don't have running water, only when one of us run down over the hill to get it, which seems like it is always me. We will get out two enamel dish pans put some water from the reservoir in each. One to wash dishes in and one to rinse them. To the left of here are some metal cabinets. After this is the door that goes out side and on the west wall are some pegs to hang our coats on. Now that we have toured the kitchen, let's go out side and sit in the shade for a while then we will look around at the barn lot and so forth.
Ok, we have rested long enough lets, get on with the tour. Straight out the kitchen door and through the gate is the cellar where we store all our fruit and vegetables we have canned during the summer. You can find just about anything you want to eat down here. It stays cool in summer and warm in winter because it is in the ground. Let's see what we can find to eat, over here in this bin is where we keep our many bushels of potatoes which we usually plant on Good Friday. When it is time to harvest them, dad plows them out of the ground with a horse and plow, us kids pick them up and we store them here. We have enough so that we don't have to worry about running out of potatoes before it is time to plant again We will have to sprout them once during the year, oh you don't know what that means. Well the sprouts come out where the eyes are (did you know potatoes have eyes?) and we have to go through the whole bin and break off the sprouts. When it is time to plant potatoes again dad will buy a bag of seed potatoes and we cut them up in pieces, four or five pieces from each potato and make sure it has two or three eyes in each piece. We have three big deep rows of shelves over here; there is lots of corn, about 200 cans of green beans, lots of tomatoes, and those many cans of Jelly.
Look what is this? Sausage? Yes we even canned sausage and tenderloin. What is in that big 20 gallon crock? That one over there has Kraut in it, and that one over there has pickles getting ready to be canned. Oh yes, there many cans of pickles already on the shelf. Those cans over there are Catsup (better than Hines). That strange looking stuff is mince meat for some good pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas; this here is the pickled relish. This big tin can is full of lard from when we butchered hogs it will be plenty to last until time to butcher again. That big bushel basket of apples will be so good this winter. All the shelves are filled with all the food they will hold, we won't have to go to the store for any kind of vegetables. We have canned Apples, bushels of Peaches, Grapes, grape jelly and grape juice too. I got so tired of peeling peaches and breaking beans. Ok we will shut this door, wasn't it nice and cool down there? Now we will put down this door it has a pulley on it with a bucket on concrete on it so it will stay open when you raise it.
Up these few steps above the cellar built over it like a house over a basement is what we call a smoke house. (No, that is not a place to hang out and smoke cigarettes) It is a Place where we hang our sugar cured meat after we butcher when it is real cold, we will talk more about that later. That is a sugar cured ham hanging over there, and this is a big side that we cut up for bacon. There will be several pieces after butchering. Be sure you shut that door and lock it; we don't want the dogs to get our meat.
Now we go around the smoke house up that little path past a sinkhole past that mulberry tree and there is a most important little house we call an out house. It has a seat with a hole in it, and a Sears Roebuck catalogue on the floor with many pages torn out (I think that is where I learned to take something with me to read when I go to the restroom). Before that one seat out house we had one with two seats. On past the out house is the brooder house. We would get little baby chicks when it was cold weather; they were so cute, just a little ball of yellow fuzz. We had to keep a fire for them until they began to grow sometimes dad slept out there to make sure the fire didn't go out. We put feed in long feeders with little holes along the side. Water cans were filled with water and turned them up side down; the water came down as needed. The feed we bought for the chickens came in pretty flowered material bags from which most of our clothes were made. Anna and I got ride in the wagon with dad to Grantsburg or Sulphur to get feed. We got to pick out the bags we wanted for a dress. It was just like going to the store for material. Sometimes while we were at the store we got to get a coke or a Nehi orange. We had to drink it all while we were there because the bottle had to be left at the store. (A coke was 5 cents) It was in a big red cooler sort, of like a deep freeze. Sometimes I thought I would never get it all down.
On past the brooder house was the Hen House where the hens and roosters stayed. Then hens laid our eggs, and the roosters, began crowing about 5:00 am to tell us it was time to get up. We had to carry water for them from the well down over the hill and shell corn for them in the evening and some times give them grit, (oyster shells). Let's go back to the yard, just to the right of the other gate we went out is the gate to the garden. The garden was about 75x50 feet. We had a row of sweet potatoes, onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots, two or three rows of tomatoes, four rows of pole beans. We stuck bean poles (which were little sassafras poles we went out in the woods and cut.), 1 pole by each bean plant then tied them together at the top, two poles from each row it looked like a lot of little tee pees. The beans vined up the poles it made it easier to pick them. Then there was two rows of cabbage some potatoes and then we had more potatoes and corn in another plot. When the other vegetables were all harvested dad would plant turnips. At one time there was some peach trees along the East side of the garden. Ok let's get out of this garden it reminds me too much of hoeing, picking and canning in other words work.
We will go through the gate on the east side of the yard. This first part to the right is where we saw up long poles dad and the boys drag in with the horses. They cut it up in pieces big enough to fit in the wood burning stove, about 16 inches long and many of the pieces have to be split with an axe, dad has a double bit axe and he keeps it real sharp, the wood splitting is his and the boys job. Some times we rake this area called the chip yard, we burn the chips. To the left is the wood shed it has dad's work bench with a vice fastened to it, there is an anvil (which I own today), and all kinds of tools, hanging on the wall. There are saws, hack saws, drawing knife, hammers, pliers, and more. In tool boxes are wrenches and screw drivers Dad doesn't mind if we use his tools if we put them back where we got them. I loved to try to make things in that woodshed, I guess that is why I still like to saw and try to make things today.
Now lets go on down the path to the Corn Crib, this is where we store our corn that we harvest in the fall. This contraption with a handle on it, fastened to the side of a big wooden box, is a corn sheller. We use it to shell corn for the chickens. Just a little farther down the path to the left is the barn. It has a loft where we store the hay for the cows and horses. We might as well talk about how we get the hay up there while we are on the subject. Dad cuts the hay with a mowing machine pulled by our two old gray horses, Dan and Mabel. After it is cut and dries out a little he rakes it up into wind rows (long rows) with a hay rake pulled by Dan and Mabel. Now the horses get to rest and us kids have to work as we get our pitch fork and separate the long rows into stacks. Now Dan and Mabel pull the hay wagon along the piles and Dad and the boys pitch it upon the wagon when they get a load they head for the barn, they park the load close to the barn. In the very top next to the roof is a big window with a door over it, it is opened and there is pulleys and ropes that go all the way across the barn. It has a hay fork on one end of the rope, on another rope Mabel is hitched to it, the hay fork is brought down and the point is pushed into the load of hay. Some one is in the loft so they can direct where to let the hay down. Mabel is led by some one, sometimes me, so she will stop when the one in the loft says stop, a trip rope is pulled and the hay falls off. This procedure is done over and over until all the hay from that field is in the barn, and then we move on to the next field.
Now we better get back to explore the barn as we go in the double doors in front of the barn. This section has a space big enough for the hay wagon. On both sides of the big space are the stalls for the cows and horses. On the left are the horses and on the right room for four cows. At the end of the horse's stalls is a huge bin for feed. In the evening we throw down hay from the loft to feed them. In the spring we have to clean the stables we load the stinking stuff on a manure spreader pulled by Dan and Mabel. This machine spreads it around over the fields. It is good fertilizer, and yes I have to help load it. We wear our boots, and pitch the manure in the spreader with a pitch fork. It doesn't smell too good around there for a couple of days. To the south of the barn is the pig pen. By the way do you know why dad put the pig pen to the South of the barn? Give up? To keep the pigs in. We have to give them corn every night and give them slop. I know you don't know what slop is do you? It is things like Potato peelings, tomato peelings cabbage, scraps; any thing that the dogs won't eat sometimes it has some milk in it.
Speaking of a slop bucket an interesting thing happened one day. We used to have several students come from GBS to hold week-end meetings preaching, and singing, keep in mind we don't have running water or bathroom. One of these city dudes asked my sister "where is the latrine?" He had his tooth brush in hand and she thought he wanted to brush his teeth. She didn't know what a latrine is so, she said we just use the slop bucket. He didn't know what a slop bucket was; you guessed it he was really looking for the bathroom.
We have to gather the eggs. So let's get the egg basket and head for the hen house. You will have to reach under the hens sometimes to get the eggs, be careful some times the hens peck. We will just put the eggs in the cellar, later we will cull them and get them ready to sell. It will soon be dark and we will need to go in and light the kerosene lamps, before then let's get a can and catch a few lightening bugs. We will have to wash our feet before we go in we have been running around bare footed. We get to start going barefooted the first of May and until it is just too cold, any way we will get the foot tub and sit on the edge of the porch and wash our feet. Who wants to be first? We will have to go in so we won't get them dirty again, it will soon be time to go to bed any way. We light the lamp and put it in the middle of the kitchen table also we will light one for the living room. If it is during the school year we might have some home work to do. Otherwise we can play some games; how about riddle re I see something you don't see. I'll go first; riddle, riddle re, I see something you don't see and it is black. You have to guess what it is; if you guess right you get to pick something. How about a game of checkers, or fox and goose.
Well it is time for devotions we get out the promise box, each of us get to pick a promise to read, we take turns reading our promise, then some one prays. Then it is off to bed. We will have to get up early to get our chores done before we go to school.
Well I finally graduated from 8th grade from our beloved old Roberson school. We started riding the big Yellow School bus (driven by Nolan Scott) to the big English Sterling High School. I graduated from High School in 1954. After Graduation I started working at Travelers in Orleans, I had to get up at 4:00 and milk the cows before we went to work. I worked there about two years. My brother Paul and Louise, who had been away at Bible School, came to Columbus IN, to pastor, the Missionary Bands Church.
Anna and I went to live with them and get a job there in Columbus. I worked at a factory called Vernco where they made window fans. In the church there was a tall good looking fellow named Gordon Tilley, he worked at Cummins on the third shift, there was a hamburger joint about 5 houses down from my brother's. Anna and I would go down there about 11:00 to get us a hamburger and that good looking guy and his buddy would come in on their way from work to get them a sandwich, what a coincidence. Gordon and I had a few dates. Gordon's mother died Dec. 16, 1956. In 1957 Anna and I decided to go to God's Bible school and would you believe Gordon and Don went to GBS too? All four of us went to GBS in 1957 we took a two year course, called Christian Workers Course.
After one year Anna got married to Joel Garcia. Gordon and I graduated in 1959 and got married July 24, 1959. Gordon continued in college, while pastoring at Tobasco Chapel. On October 24, 1960 at 7:33 AM, at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati Ohio our son Daniel Gordon was born. Gordon continued pastoring and going to college, he graduated from GBS with a THB in 1962. In August 1962 we moved to Winchester, KY to pastor The Wesleyan Church full time. Our daughter Deborah Ruth was born on December 7, 1964 at 8:21 am at Lexington, KY. It was snowing that morning and we had a little VW bug, it was 18 mi to Lexington but we made it with 20 min to spare. Gordon's Father died April 16, 1965. We pastored at Winchester until September 1967; then we moved to Lebanon, KY. We built a new Church in Lebanon, KY and pastored there from 1967 to 1971. We moved back to Winchester, KY to the same church, we were at before and pastored there 1971 to 1975.
We moved to Washington, IN. in Nov. 1975. We were there 11 yrs. Both of our children graduated from High School there. Dan went to GBS in 1980. He married Kathy Burress August 15, 1981. They have two Daughters our first granddaughter (a happy day and sad day all in one) Kristen was born September 8, 1983 on the day after my mother died. (Dad died May 12, 1972). Our second granddaughter was born September 11, 1986. Debbie went to GBS in 1982. She married Lawrence McCord on July 24, 1987. They have two children our first and only grandson Joshua Lawrence was born June 13, 1992 and Victoria Grace (Tori) born July 15, 1995.
We moved to Tipton, IN July 1986, pastored there until January 1992 moved to Bedford, IN and that is where we are now, Gordon wears many hats here, he is Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, School Bus Driver, District Secretary, Treasury for Evangelistic Faith Missions, and takes care of me which in its self is a full time job.
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Norma Alberta Mills
Well here goes, I have been asked to remember my early childhood and to put it on paper. Sometimes I can remember what happened fifty years ago better that I can remember what happened yesterday. Getting it all straight and in the right sequence is a real job. I'll try to get the wheels of my memory turning in the right direction and see what comes out.
I was born into the home of Everett and Dimple Mills. I was the second of seven children. We didn't have a lot, but we had love for one another. We lived about a mile and a half from the Union Chapel Church and the Roberson School. We seldom ever missed unless we were sick. I had to walk to school for the first six or seven years, then Oscar Hammond started picking us in a covered wagon pulled by two mules. Sometimes he tried to heat it with a kerosene heater or some hot coals from their stove. Later he got a pickup truck and built a cap on the back and hauled us in it. After I graduated from Roberson Grade School, I continued to ride in his truck to the Roberson School, and then catch the big yellow bus to High School. I went to Leavenworth for the first two years then to English for my junior and senior years.
Let me back up and say that when I was eight years old, I had to have my eye removed and replaced it with a glass eye. I was real popular when I went back to school for a few days, because all the kids wanted to see my glass eye. They wanted to know if it could see. I learned a lot from listening to the other classes at the recitation bench and it helped me to make good grades, so Mr. Jones let me skip the second grade. On our walk to and from school, we would carve our initials in the beech trees, like, so and so loves so and so. I think it would be interesting to go back and check those beech trees to see who it was that I loved. At recess we played a lot of different games. At noon we traded sandwiches. My best friend, Betty Roberson was "up" in the world and could afford to have light bread from the store with bologna or cheese. My biscuit might have a fried egg or jelly, but we traded and each liked what the other had. (I think I got a bargain).
Like all the others, I remember the big sewer under the pike road where we ate our dinner. Sanitation? What's that? One of the "Big Days" of the week was Wednesday, that was when Dutch Nash the "peddler", came by. I think he enjoyed the exchanging of money for Smith Brothers Cough Drops and "Guess what's" as much as we did. I can still see the big grin on his face. Ferris Luff had a bicycle he had ridden to school and he had a wreck and knocked himself out. It about scared us to death, we thought he was a goner, but he finally came around. Roberta Postal came to school each Friday to tell us Bible stories and to sing choruses. That was another high light of the week. Every body wanted to help carry her stuff in out of her little Ford Coupe and then help her carry it out again. Later I rode in the rumble seat of her Coupe to God's Bible in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also stayed in their home when their little son died of cancer.
Let me back up a minute. Now before we got on the covered wagon, or pick up truck each morning, we had chores to do. After a big breakfast of biscuits and gravy, we had to milk, carry in wood for the day, slop the hogs, carry in the water, feed the chickens, and then we would hurry and get ready for school. Each one of us had our jobs to do. In the evening after a "hard" day at school, we had to repeat the same things plus gather the eggs. I never did like old setting hens, because they could really peck hard. After the evening meal, we got our lessons by lamp light, and then played games like checkers, fox and goose, (board game). Some times we would eat apples, popcorn, or make popcorn balls, or even a raw potato. We also had a dry cell battery radio. The boys liked to listen to the Lone Ranger, Boston Blackie, Tom Mix, or some other program. Each one just lasted a half hour. There was an abundance of love to go around for every body, even our neighbors who were the families of Grady and Helen Goldman, Everett and Ethel May, Howerton and Ethel Wilson who all lived on our road. Ollie and Frances Belcher lived out across the field. We had it made and didn't know it.
This is just something funny that happened in our barnyard. We had an old cow that was as black as midnight and during the warm nights she would just sleep out behind the barn. On this particular night, Glenn Reasor was on his way to the Belcher farm to see his girl friend, Imogene. He took a short cut across our barn lot in the dark and stumbled over the black cow. I don't know what kind of shape he was in, but he couldn't let a little thing like that keep him from seeing his girl friend. They got married and lived on and on and so did the story. So much for that.
Oh yeah, about the chickens. We would order them and they would come through the mail. They were perhaps two or three days old. The boxes would hold one hundred, twenty-five in each section. We would get them in the early springtime and Mom and one of the boys would sleep in the brooder house for a few nights to keep the fire going to keep the little chicks warm. That all happened before electricity came to our house. We got a few extra rooster chicks so we could have some fried chicken "Mannnn" were they ever good! After we got the chickens out of the brooder house and into the chicken house, we would clean it up real good and make it into a play house till it was time to raise another batch of little chickens. We had a good time playing house. Sometimes Mom would bring her patching out and visit us and we would have dinner together. It was just a pretend dinner, although sometimes we would peal some raw potatoes, I wish she could visit with us again, but she can't. We plan to go to where she is this time. Another thing that we had to do when we were kids was to hoe the garden. We didn't have a tiller, the ground seemed so hard and the weeds seemed to laugh at us and return the next week. Some times we had to hoe the weeds and cockleburs out of the cornfields. The rows seemed so long and the sun so hot, but now that I look back on those days, I really think it was just the fact that I was a kid and kids don't usually like to work. We also raised some cane so we could have some sorghum molasses to mix with cow butter to sop our biscuits in. I could eat some of that right now.
We enjoyed root digging. We dug ginseng, yellow root and may apple. Sometime we took a snack and stayed in the woods most of the day. Besides enjoying it, it gave us a little spending money. We canned everything in sight till the shelf in the cellar were full. We also filled a big potato bin with potatoes, plus we also had a few bushel of apples to eat on in the winter while we played games. We also had a few hams hanging up in the smoke house. So there was plenty to eat. Well, I'd better quit there. I probably could write a book.
Back to the Union Chapel Church. It holds many wonderful memories. I can remember only one Children's day service when there was a big crowd and we had a big meal with a big black kettle of chowder for every one. There were also great revivals. Some of the young men would come to church and stay on the out side and look in the windows. I wouldn't know why, or would I? In those days, there weren't many places to go where you could walk to and it didn't cost anything. There were no TVs, and very few cars, so about every body went to church for one reason or another. I'm sure that down deep in their heart they would like to have the same happiness that the people on the inside of the church had. The Lord did get a hold of some of their hearts and He made a difference in their lives.
The Lord did a special work in the life of one young man named Glen Smith. Glen made a pretense of going to the alter so the revival would go on another night, but God did a work in his heart and gave him the same happiness that the other folks had. He didn't know what to do, so he just did what he felt like doing. He just praised the Lord as he hopped around and around the old stove that set in the middle of the church. I'll never forget that.
The years passed quickly passed by, (It didn't seem so quick back then.) we graduated and began to go our own way after graduation. Reverend and Mrs. Jesse K. Cole was our Pastor in 1947. They had talked to me about attending Gods Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio. I really wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do in life, but I hated to leave home. I had hardly been anywhere besides Grantsburg and Sulphur and we had gone there in a spring wagon. (I did get to help pick out the prettiest feed sacks so Mom could make me a dress). At the ripe old age of seventeen, I felt that God would have me to attend Bible School which was one hundred and seventy miles away.
I had some teeth pulled one week and the Coles took me to register the next week. It seemed so far away, but I never had a problem with my teeth. The Lord surely did help me in so many ways. I took an intensive ten weeks course on personal soul winning, and then I took two more years of a Christian Workers Course. It was an On Hands training class. We did Children's Work in the slums, had Street Meeting, knocked on doors and prayed with people. We collected money on the street comers, in taverns and about anywhere there were people for the big Thanksgiving Day dinner when we fed the poor and hungry children from Cincinnati. The City used their busses to bring the children to the school by the thousands. It was a great undertaking, but it was well worth it. Great experience!!
It was a lot of work to prepare a meal for that many people. Everybody worked as we peeled potatoes by the ton, turkeys by the hundreds, celery by the bushels, dill pickles by the barrel and dressing and gravy by the tubs full. We also gave each one a bag of candy and peanuts. We were worn out by the end of the day. I surely did enjoy my four years at Bible School and I learned a lot that I would have never known otherwise. Some people wondered why I would go so far from home. It was rumored that I went to get a boy friend, but that didn't happen. Perhaps I was too fast or too slow. It seems that I went to Bible School to open the doors for others to go.
After I went, my two brothers, Paul and Sam went and found their wives there and now have been pastors for more that forty years. My two sisters, Hilda and Anna went and met their husbands there. Hilda and her husband have been pastoring for almost forty years. There were also five nieces and nephews that have gone there and met their mates. Two of the nephews are ministers and one niece married a minister. So I guess that my going there has helped others to go. Then others have gone from the churches where they pastor to the school, so it has a ripple effect and will continue till Jesus comes again.
I came home from school in nineteen and fifty-two and got a job in Orleans. Then I met Charlot Woolems, who had been around all the time, but he had grown up while I was away school. Sooo, we courted a while, not too long. He had a horse and buggy, so we would dress "Old Fashioned" and ride in the parades. He wore a big fake mustache. He said, "Kissing without a mustache was like eating an egg without salt". (It was pretty good either way). We were married on November ninth, nineteen and sixty three in the English Wesleyan Church. Then on May twentieth, nineteen and sixty five, a most blessed event took place, our son John Wesley Woolems was born. Then, I believe the saddest day of my life was February sixth, nineteen and sixty-eight. We were at Moms house for a missionary meeting when his Dad, Sherrill came to tell us that Charlot was dead. What a shock! They were working in the log woods not far from Mom and Dads house in Long Hollow. He had a cerebral hemorrhage while cutting down a tree. What can one do in a time like that, except commit it to the Lord? God works in mysterious ways and sometimes we don't understand, but One Day we will. John Wesley would have been three in May. Now I have one grandson, Dustin Levi Woolems who will be twelve years old on July third, two thousand and one.
When John Wesley went to school, I got a job as an aide in the English Elementary School where he attended. When the new school was built in nineteen and seventy-six, I went there as cook. All together I worked twenty-nine years for the school corporation. I retired, but I like to keep busy. I am Janitor at the English Wesleyan Church, also the Board Secretary. Sometimes I feel that it is my second home. I keep busy visiting Nursing Homes and people in their own homes and whatever else needs to be done; I'll do my best to be there. I have enjoyed life. I feel it has been spent for others, not to make a name for myself, but I have done it as unto the Lord. Jesus said that if we give a cup of cold water in his name, we would not loose our reward I'm looking for great rewards in the next life. Norma Mills Woolems
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Paul Edward Mills
I guess that I should start at the beginning. They told me that I was born on a chilly November second, nineteen hundred and thirty-two about a mile and a half south of the Union Chapel Church. So I have believed all these years that was where I discovered America. I was there, but I don't remember a thing about it. I was born the middle one of seven children. Probably, my first memories were of the family gathered around the kitchen table eating our meals together. I occupied the seat in the middle of a long bench behind the table. Dad always prayed for each meal before we ate. Breakfast consisted of biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, eggs, squirrel in season, pork in season, rolled oats, rice and some mush, which I didn't care for. All these items were not on the menu at the same time. We didn't realize what a big job this was for our mother to get up and get enough breakfast for nine people. Besides that, most of it had to be made from scratch. You can't even buy scratch these days. It all consists of pop up toasters, pop in microwaves and pop out biscuits. How things have changed.
Our dinner consisted of com bread and beans, potatoes, slaw, tomatoes.com, cucumber and onions in vinegar and sugar, macaroni and tomatoes, green beans. Neither were all these items on the menu at the same time. Chicken was reserved for Sunday. Supper usually consisted of left-over's. Some times for supper, mom would boil a big pan of potatoes with the skin on. We would peel them, mash them up, then put either meat grease or good old thick country cream on them with some salt and pepper. Mom made a garden relish that we ate with them. What a supper, I can almost taste it now. No one ever told us that meat grease and rich country cream wasn't good for us. She didn't have a great selection to choose from, but she was a great cook.
The years swiftly passed by and before you knew it, I was seven years old. Back in the good old days we didn't start to school till we were seven years old. There was plenty of time to be a kid. That's not the case anymore. I was happy to be born with the rest of you. I wasn't happy about being away from home for a whole day at a time. I got home sick for a few days, but I got over it. If I remember correctly, I had to walk to school the first year. Then the county hired Oscar Hammond to haul us to Roberson grade school in a real covered wagon. That would have been about nineteen hundred and forty. The first year or two he covered the wagon with tin. We rattled and rolled. Then he covered it with canvass which could be rolled up when it was warm enough. He had a little stove or some hot coals that he tried to heat it with in the winter time. The wagon was run by two mule power. Their names were Kate and Jack, one was gray and one was black. Sometimes they didn't want to pull very good. This made Oscar kindly unhappy, so he would get out and talk things over with them. (Mule language of course, because they understood what he said). Then he would sorta encourage them along. He also had anti-lock brakes on the wagon. I don't think he could scoot a wheel. Neither could he spin one. He had a rope that he fastened to a brake stick on the outside, then he had it fixed so the rope would come inside of the wagon at the front where he could pull the brake on. Those were great days.
Oscar retired Kate and Jack and got him a 1940 or 1941 Chevy pickup truck. He built a cap on the back with a board on each side for seats. This was a great improvement in our travel time to and from school. Once in a while though we would have to get out and give him a push. Either way we were pretty well loaded by the time we got to school. He would drive from his place to Grady Goldman's and pick up Jack, then Norma, Sam, Paul, Hilda, Anna Mills, Norma Jean and Everett May, Cedric, Charles and Clifford Wilson.
My first teacher was W.W. Jones who lived at Grantsburg. I think he drove a Green 1935 Dodge car. He was kindly heavy, a little bald on top and had a double chin. He was a good teacher. He was strict. He didn't think I needed to go through the second grade, so he passed me on to the third grade. We learned a lot from listening to the upper grades while they were at the recitation bench. As best I can remember, the Teacher would say, "Third grade arise". Then all of that grade would stand up, and then he would say, "Come forward". Then we would all come to the front and stand in front of the recitation bench. The teacher would then say, "You may be seated". We learned discipline and also learned to respect authority. (This is sadly missing in homes and schools today). There were usually twenty five or thirty kids in our school.
The pot bellied coal stove overheated one night and burned our school house to the ground. I don't remember what month or year it was, but I remember having to finish school that year In the Union Chapel Church. As I recall, the County had a school building near West Fork that was not being used, so the county and the community pitched in together and dismantled and relocated it to where our old school house used to be. For the opening of school that fall we had a brand new school building in which to go to school. (At least for us kids, it was brand new). One thing was different about this school building; all of the windows were on the North side toward the corn field. They probably thought that "traffic" would distract us if they put windows on the South side.
The five gallon crock water jug set on a little shelf just inside the front door on the right side. There was also room for our own individual water glasses or cups to set on another shelf. Some kids were fortunate enough to have a fold up aluminum water glass with a lid. We had running water. The teacher would select two boys to get the water bucket and run to Jesse Goldman's well and fetch some good cold water and pour it into the water tank just before we were dismissed for dinner. Our pants legs were often wet from sloshing it out as we carried it between us. We usually took our time getting there and back. We had to throw a few rocks on the way. We had a whole hour to eat and play. I think the girl's cloak room was on the right hand side as you entered into the school house and the boy's was on the left. There we deposited our coats, hats, boots, dinner buckets, sling shots and pop guns.
During the two recesses and the noon hour we could play hop scotch, marbles, jail base, Antne Over, cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. Sometimes the boys would fill their pockets with rocks or acorns and have a shoot out with our sling shots down in the woods. One of the boys, maybe Eugene or Sam, carries a scar just above his eye where he didn't duck quick enough. We also played soft ball. I know it had to be soft ball, because sometimes we had to make our own. We didn't have a slugger bat either. We had to make our own from a piece of board or from a wooden club. But we had fun. Of course we couldn't play ball in the winter nor in the spring when the ground would thaw and make it too muddy. I don't remember what the girls played, probably hopscotch, Antne over and jail base.
The boys chewed up a lot of catalogues and paper tor spit wads to shoot in our pop guns. We took a piece of elderberry bush about a ten or twelve inches long and pushed the pith out of the center, then we would whittle us out a ramrod from a small board or another stick. For our ammunition we would chew up a piece of paper big enough to fit in our elderberry gun barrel. We would push the first spit wad to the front of the barrel, and then we would chew a second one and stuff it in the other end. Then we would put the end of the ramrod in against the second spit wad and push it in real fast. The first spit wad would come out with a pop. It you were close enough, it could leave a red spot. We had a lot of fun. They didn't tell us that chewing the paper with the ink in the pictures and print weren't good for us.
We also played checkers, Chinese checkers, fox and goose and spun our tops, when it was too bad to go outside. If you were real good, you could spin your top on your desk or on a very small surface and make it go to sleep. I haven't seen a good wooden top for years. You would probably have to go to a flea market and pay a big price to get a good wooden one. When Eugene Hammond played checkers or some game where he had to concentrate, he would always sing, hum or whistle, "Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?" I don't know what the song means or even if the spelling is right, but I do remember the tune. Can you imagine a teacher putting up with all the noise that we would make in the winter time? They were probably real glad at the end of the day when they could say. "You are dismissed".
I remember Roberta Postal coming to school once a week to tell us Bible stories and to help us memorize some Bible verses. I remember that she had us to memorize the first part of St. John, chapter one. Merle Roll was good at memorization and he wasn't bashful either. Every Friday evening during the last period, we would choose sides and have a geography match, a ciphering match or a spelling match. Most of us knew the Capital of every state and where many other cities were located. I think it helped us in our arithmetic and spelling too.
The Hardee restaurants are a way behind on egg and biscuit sandwiches. We had them so often that we kindly got tired of them. Sometimes we had some meat to go on them. But there was always peanut butter and jelly to go on a biscuit. It was quite a switch when we could finally have light bread for our sandwiches. Mom got the kind that folded in the middle. When it was warm we usually ate our dinner in the big sewer that went under the road. Sometimes we would trade sandwiches. Every Wednesday the Peddler, Dutch Nash, would come by the school at noon. We would try to have fifteen or twenty cents to buy some Smith Brothers cough drops. They made good candy. I think there were sixteen to the box. He also had Cheez-its in a little box. They were good and still are; only they are in bigger boxes now. Then we could get "Guess what's" which consisted of two pieces of candy and a little prize. Wednesday was a great day.
My most embarrassing time in school was when I got caught writing a note. I thought that I ought to write a note like my mother wrote her letters. So that is the way I wrote my note. To the young lady across the isle and up a seat or two ahead of me I wrote, Dear__, How are you? I am just fine. I hope you are the same. I don't remember what else I wrote. But, just then our teacher Wallace Myler, who always had a clove in his mouth and sometimes dozed a little, looked up just in time to see her get the note. He came and got it and read it to the whole school. When he came to that part that said "How are you"? He laughed and said. "You ought to know how she is she is just sitting across the isle". I guess he thought that my embarrassment was enough punishment. I didn't have to stand in the corner or write it on the blackboard fifty times. I don't remember writing any more notes.
We had a pie supper once a year. The girls brought the pies, the auctioneer auctioned them off and the boys or their fathers would bid on them. (It seems that the auctioneer was Cecil Newton). We would get to set with the girl that owned the pie and try to help her eat it all. Then we would have a cake walk. The ladies brought the cakes for this event. The couples would hold hands and march all around the room till the music stopped. The ones closest to a preselected spot would get the cake. The money made from the pie suppers went for some school needs or events.
In the Fall I think we got a day off for Farmers Institute. This is when the farmers and their wives brought their very best ears of corn, the best of garden vegetables, the best of their baked goods like pies, cakes, rolls, cookies and anything else that they thought would win a blue ribbon. School didn't start in the fall till after Labor day. We didn't have to go till we were seven years old and the school year was just about eight month. We thought that was great. I think most of us turned out pretty good. (I hadn't thought about some of these things for years).
The years rolled by, and finally World War II was over. One by one the Soldier Boys came home. Each home that had a son or father in the service had a little banner with a star on it hanging in the window. If one was killed in action, they had a gold star on the little banner. As best I can remember all of them from the Union Chapel area came home safe. Some of them were: Russell and Leo Goldman, Noval and Norman Goldman, Lavern and Farrell Roberson, Glen and Gerald and Lee Reasor, Roman Knight, Hubert Luff, and John Goldman. God had answered prayer and brought them all back home safe.
Life was great. We were getting older now. Sometimes a bunch of us would get together and go fishing in Little Blue or Grantsburg Lake. Grady had a 1937 Chevy pick up truck, so sometimes we would get to ride; Ollie and Frances Belcher liked to fish too. We usually went in the evening. We caught sun fish, blue gills and cat fish. Not much to brag about and too little to mount. We usually mounted them on our fork in our plate while we picked the bones out. They were good though. We were big enough to help Dad with the farm work now. I can remember following the turning plow when I wasn't big enough to turn it around at the corners. Dad finally got a Fordson tractor with steel wheels. What an improvement over the horses; we didn't have to stop and let it rest. Then he got a ten-twenty international tractor. I drove it to pull a binder when we cut wheat. Dad rode the binder. He would trip the bundle carrier when eight or ten bundles collected on it. This was enough to make a shock of wheat. He also got a corn shredder too; this way was better than taking the sled to the corn shock, then kneeling down to shuck the corn and throw it into the sled and then to take to the crib.
We were always glad when the wheat threshing time came. All the neighbors helped one another. We always had a big noon meal. Albert Roll would take time off from his saw mill work and pull the threshing machine through the neighborhood to thresh wheat. He pulled it at first with a steam engine. It took forty acres to turn that rig around. Then he got him a W-40 International tractor to use with the threshing machine and also to use at his sawmill. I believe Albert Lutz from Sulphur also had a threshing machine. Sometimes he did the threshing.
We had to help do the chores like milking, feeding the chickens, gathering the eggs, slopping the hogs, splitting the wood and carrying it in the house, carrying water from the well. In earlier years we hauled the water from the well on a sled when it was wash day and heat it inside on the stove. When it was warm she could heat it outside in a big black kettle. When it rained, Mom would have to hang the clothes in the house to dry. Sometimes in the winter she would hang them outside and let them freeze dry. Scrub a dub dub on a wash board, poor Mom. Later, my Dad's aunt, Stella Landers bought us a washing machine with a gasoline motor on it. What a change that made in my mothers wash day.
Some where among all those memories I graduated from Grade School. I have my Diploma from Crawford County Common Schools, Union Township, Roberson School. It was signed by W.W. Myler-Teacher, Carter L. Adams-County Superintendent and Chancy C. Wright -Township Trustee. It was dated June 8, 1946. It was now time to look forward to four years of High School in English. We still rode In Oscar Hammonds pick-up truck over to the grade school and caught the big yellow bus to ride to English High School. There were quite a group of us boys who went to the Union Chapel Church. That is where we seen each other during the summer months when school was out. Either we went home with some one or someone came home with us. We would walk to Kellam's store in Grantsburg and eat some HOT hot dogs, candy and pop for dinner. He had some BIG bon bons, I think they were a quarter a piece, but they sure were good. Sometimes we would play rook with Edwin, Leo, Emerson and anyone else who happened to be there.
Sometimes we would stop by the swimming' hole between Craig Patrick's and Johnnie Wrights. Some times we would go to Sulphur. I guess the most dangerous thing that we ever did was to, "Pull the Pocket Book". We did this on State Road 37 just south of the Union Chapel road. We put a string on a big old purse, and then laid the purse on the edge of the road. As the cars came down the hill and rounded the curve, they saw the purse, but by the time they stopped and backed up we had already pulled the purse down into the big sewer that went under the highway. A lot of people left scratching' their head, wondering' what was going on. I wouldn't recommend that any one try that today, you might get shot.
Finally, Lowell was old enough to drive his Dad's 1934 Chevy car, Eugene would drive his dad's pick-up truck and Sam got him a 1938 Chevy car. We ventured a little further away; we included Leavenworth and Marengo and once we went to Coney Island in Louisville. I ran around with Jack Goldman some; he had a 1941 Chevy coupe. He drove a milk route for his brother, Norman. During my last year at home, I run around with Lowell Miller. He had a job at the English State Bank and had bought himself a brand new four door 1950 Chevy. It was a pretty two tone green. I guess I still owe him some gas money. I would walk over to the pike road and meet him. We would go the ball game or to the show. It only cost thirty two cents. Sometimes we had a couple girls. By now, Dad had an F-12 Farmall tractor. Sometimes I would ride it over to meet him, and then wake up all the neighbors on the way home.
Just one more; all the community problems and the world problems were settled each Sunday Morning while the men sit on the big roots of the white oak tree in front of the Union Chapel Church waiting for the bell to call them inside to worship. The stump is still there. Once each year there was an All Day Meeting' with dinner on the ground. We had some great sermons and some great cooking.
It's hard to find a stopping place. I remember Martha Miller being our Sunday School Teacher. Noble Miller played the piano with one finger missing. I think there were five Sunday School classes going on at one time. The Adult class was on the right side toward the front. The younger adult class was in the middle. The older youth was on the left side toward the back. The younger youth class was on the platform in the Amen corner. The little Tykes had a table on the left side toward the front. That is where Martha Miller taught us with little Sunday School cards. We had a new alter rail put in with a piece of porch railing from Pop Robersons. It is still there. That is where My brother Sam and I gave our hearts to Jesus on October 14th, 1951. We used to heat the church with a pot bellied stove. Who ever got there first started the fire. In later years they advanced to a fuel oil heating stove. For many years the church was lighted at night with kerosene lamps and lanterns. Once In a while someone had a gas lantern which gave a good light.
Finally, electricity came through the county and the church hooked on. We had two round light fixtures, one toward the front and one toward the back which held five bulbs each. This was great. We could see to read the songs now. They may still be there. I can only remember two preachers that came every Sunday. They were Rev. Jesse K. Cole and Rev. Herschel Hamm. Rev. Harley and Dorothy Hanover came quite often. Another couple came with them, but I can't think of their name. Maybe it was Hollowells. Different ones had D.V.B.S. like G.R. Husk, Tagertt and Roberta (Postal) Wright and Rev. Ray Williams held a lot of revivals in the area. I remember some of the cars that were driven to church after the horse and buggy era ceased. I may not get the year right but I can still see the car. My Dad had a 1930 Ford Truck with a small bed. He gave Craig Patrick $100 for it. I learned to drive with it. Later he got a 1936 Ford car. Noble Miller-1934 Chevy, Pop Roberson-1939 Chevy, George Miller-1938 Chevy, Grady Goldman-1937 Chevy Pickup, Willard Luff -1935 Chevy Pickup, John Wright-1935 International, later he got him a new 1950 International Pickup, Leo Goldman-1941 Ford, later A new 1950 Ford truck, Edgar Reasor- 1935 Ford. Shelby Goldman-1949 Ford; Shelby took me to Dr. O. R Lynch first, then on to the New Albany Hospital for emergency surgery for appendicitis. It was April fools day 1951, only it was no joke, it was for real. Speaking of Dr. O.R. Lynch, his office calls plus a shot was not more than S2.00.
Some of us weren't too smart in those earlier days. We were in the ditch playing by the school when Dr. Lynch went past the school. I think it was Cedric Wilson, who said, "I'll bet he's going to Robersons". Sure enough the next morning, the big news was that, Pop and May Roberson had a brand new little boy come to their home by the name of Wendell Rex Roberson
The next pages are what I put together for our 50th year Class Reunion after graduating from English High School in 1950. Some of it will be repetitious, but I'm tired of thinking' and writing'. Paul Mills
English High School Class Reunion 1950
As I reflect back now, it seems like a long, long time ago since I marched across the platform to receive my long awaited diploma. Many spring times with the warming of the Sunshine, the returning of the birds with their beautiful songs, the Spring rains, the greening of the meadows and the blooming of the flowers have come and gone. Fifty summers of heat, vacations, camps, work, play, perspiration and mosquitoes have also come and gone.
My favorite Season of the year, Fall, has also beautified the whole landscape fifty times with its beautiful burst of colors. Mother Nature out does all the artists put together painting tens of thousands of meadows, hills, mountains, valleys and plains with the most beautiful array of colors. Fifty times man and animals have gathered food and stored it away for the coming winter months. The snows of fifty winters have beautified the landscape with its whiteness. The snow beautifies forest and field alike. Even the trees that have shed their leaves now lift their snow laden branches heavenward in beauty. It's winter wonderland, sure enough. When an ice storm invades the land, even the ugly weeds and briars in the fence row are beautiful as the rays of sun shines upon them and make them look like they are covered with a million sparkling diamonds. Each season does Its own thing to make creation a beautiful thing. I feel sorry for those who don't get to enjoy the changing seasons.
Since we have graduated from E.H.S. in 1950, the four seasons have changed 200 times. The Grand Old Sun has risen in the East and set in the West 18,262 times and it has always been right on time. If you noticed, most of the time it arose in splendor and set in glory. I guess that is why I like Indiana. Before I tell you what has happened since 1950. let me mention a few things that happened before 1950. On November 2nd 1932, a young couple by the name of Everett and Dimple Mills welcomed me into this big wide world. They didn't have much, but they loved me right from the start. Things were just beginning to get better after the great depression. I don't know that my being born had anything to do with the economy or not. I rather doubt it. We lived back in the boondocks a little over a mile from the church and school. We walked to church. I walked my first year to school. The county hired one of the local farmers, Oscar Hammond, to haul us to school in a wagon. He had a white mule and a black one by the name of Kate and Jack. We rode in a real covered wagon. Sometimes he had a canvas top and some times he had it covered with tin. We rattled and rolled.
Later, we advanced from a covered wagon to a Chevy pickup truck with a home made camper on it. We then met the big yellow School bus driven by Ralph Grant or Nolan Scott and was transported to the English High School for more education. My grades would have been better if I had not been so bashful. Merle, John, Doug, Bill, Franklin and Don weren't bashful and they liked to talk and ask the teacher questions. It made them look smart. I don't know how many times they had the teacher fooled. I do remember that we worked out a plan to make better grades in W.T. Beasley's class. When he gave us our test books, we secretly looked at the following tests. It each of us got a couple of the questions from the following tests and shared them; we did pretty well on the following tests. I think he caught on pretty quick though.
I remember some of the teachers; Coach J.B. Dotson, School Superintendent, H.E. Roberson, Principal, Idena Hobson and Betty Lynch. I can still remember where a few of us sat in our home room. I considered Mabel Rose Newton and Sari Enlow as being good Christians. Others may have been, but didn't express it as Mabel Rose and Sari did. The whole class was a bunch of good moral young people. By today's standards, we were all saints. Back there In those good old days we didn't even start to school until we were seven years old. At the end of my first year of school our Teacher, W.W. Jones skipped me from the first grade to the third grade. Maybe he just wanted to hurry me through school. Anyway I didn't have to take the second grade. That's the reason that I got to graduate with the great Graduating Class of English High School in 1950.
Life After Graduation
After I graduated from High School, I stayed with my family on the farm for one year. I loved the farm. I had intended to marry and be a farmer. But, before I could get this accomplished, a group of students came from God's Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio to have a weekend revival in our country church. At the last service on Sunday night my brother, Sam, and I gave our lives to Jesus Christ to do whatever he wanted us to do. We both felt that God wanted us to become ministers. That night was October 14, 1951. He quit a good Job In New Albany.
That week he helped to get the crops in; the following week we both went to God's Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio to study for the ministry. While attending Bible College, I met a young Lady from Kentucky by the name of Louise Asher. We dated a little over a year and were married on June 20, 1953. We went to pastor our first church in Terre Haute, Indiana on June 30, 1954. On a cold February 23, 1956 our first daughter, Pamela Ruth, was born. In June of 1956 we moved to Columbus, Indiana to pastor there. We were there five years. On March 23, 1959 our second daughter, Diana Lynn, was born. Two years later, on March 24, 1961 our son, Steven Paul, discovered America.
We moved from Columbus, Indiana to Bloomfield, Indiana in June nineteen sixty-one to pastor there. We pastored there for two years. We moved to Glasgow in nineteen and sixty-three. We remained there for five years, returning to Madison Indiana in nineteen and sixty eight. We only stayed there for one year. We moved to Prairie Creek, Indiana in June of sixty-nine. This was our longest pastorate. We were there for nineteen years. I drove a school bus for nineteen years while we were there and my wife Louise drove for sixteen years. Our children got to ride our busses till they graduated. My brother, Sam and I went to the Holy Land.
We moved to Shelbyville, Indiana In June of nineteen eighty-eight. While we were there, I broke both wrists when I fell off a barn roof that I was painting. I also had by-pass surgery. We were there for three years. We moved to Westport, Indiana in nineteen ninety. While we were there we put up a new church building. We retired from there after pastoring for six years. We pastored for a total of forty-three years. We now live a little East of Seymour, Indiana. I still keep busy Painting and doing some carpenter work. I like to write, fish, play a little golf and just putter around. We keep busy. Since retiring, we have been going to Brooksville, Florida for two or three months each winter.
If I had it all to do over, I would do the same thing. Of course, I would do some things a little different as I look back with 20/20 vision. But I would choose the ministry again over any job on earth. Living to do God's will for my life since I was eighteen leaves me with a sense of great satisfaction. Many people have lived their entire life for fame, fortune and popularity. But, when it comes time to say, "fare ye well" to this old world, they have to leave it all behind. By doing God's will in my lifetime, I have been laying up eternal treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust can't corrupt it and where thieves can not break through and steal It. (Matthew 6:20) Being a minister doesn't pay much in this life, but the "Benefits are out of this world".
Our family has grown; our oldest daughters Pam, after forty three years got married last fall for the first time. They live in Westfield, New York near Lake Erie. Our second daughter Diana and her family live in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a nurse at St. Vincent Hospital. They have two teenage daughters. Our Son Steve pastors a church in Lake Placid, New York. He and his wife Karen, have six children. I have gone further, made more friends and accomplished more in the long run by serving the Lord than I would have by staying on the farm. Paul Mills
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Samuel Lee Mills
Well, it all started way back in 1930 when I discovered America. When I arrived on the scene the depression was well under way, though I don't remember a thing about it. I was born in the home of Everett and Dimple Mills. I had two sisters already waiting on me when I arrived. I had two more sisters and two brothers that were born after me. It was a humble home, but it was filled with tender loving care.
We lived on an eighty-acre farm. The ground was very poor and we had to coax it to produce any kind of a crop. We raised our own vegetables and meat, so we didn't have to buy very much from the store. We had to walk to Sunday school and Church at Union Chapel. Once in a while for something special, Dad would harness up the horses and we would ride in the wagon. I remember Martha Miller being my teacher when I was small. I remember some of the preachers that I heard there like, Jesse K. Cole, Herschel Hamm, Basil Seaton, Ray Williams and Harley Hanover. I thought there was no church like Union Chapel; it was the greatest.
I also remember walking to Roberson Grade School for about the first four years of my life. Then Oscar Hammond started hauling us to school in a "real" covered wagon. Finally he got a Chevy pickup truck and built a cap for the back with seats on each side and a door in the back. I remember taking our lunch in a sack or a sorghum bucket. Often our sandwiches consisted of egg and biscuit or peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes it might be a piece of meat and biscuit, but it kept us alive. We often ate our dinner in the big sewer that went under the road. Then we would play ball, Antne over, jail base, tag, or we would go to the woods to shoot at one another with our sling-shots. We also played checkers, spun our tops, or played marbles. We played fox and goose in the snow when there was enough. I remember Nellie Jackson, W.W. Jones, Wallace Myler and Opal Mason. I also remember Roberta Postal coming to school each week to tell us Bible stories and help us learn scripture verses. I guess every body remembers Dutch Nash, "The Peddler" coming by the school each Wednesday at noon. Smith Brothers cough drops, cracker jacks and cheez-its seemed to be big items with the kids. Those were great days and I didn't know it.
Every one seemed to have a large family in those days. There were seven of us children, plus Mom and Dad. That takes a lot of taters and beans, biscuits and gravy to keep our stomachs full. We couldn't eat cereal, pop tans, doughnuts and that kind of stuff because we couldn't afford it. Sometimes mom fixed doughnuts; she deep fried them in lard. Mom had to get up early, build a fire, and then cook every thing from scratch. When we were old enough, we had to start carrying in wood and water. Mom cooked on a wood burning cook stove with a reservoir on the side to heat water. We had to cut all our wood to heat and to cook our meals, with a cross cut saw. We cut cross ties and logs for axe handles to sell, then we would use the tree tops for stove wood. I wasn't real happy about shocking hay either. It seemed that we had plenty of green briars in our hay which made it hard to shock. It also seemed that there were too many sweat bees in the hay field, especially if someone put their finger on a bee that was sitting on your arm.
I remember the crank telephones. When a storm came we had to unhook the wire from the side of the house so the lightening wouldn't run in on the wire and destroy the phone. Everyone on the line had a certain number of rings. You couldn't pass any secrets over the telephone, because when your rings were rung and you took down your receiver, you could hear other people taking down their receivers too. They were nice to have, for sometimes there were emergencies.
Sometimes we had to go clear to the back side of the farm to hunt the cows because they didn't come in at milking time. I didn't like to milk the cows, especially when their tails were full of mud, or cockleburs. It didn't feel too good when she slapped you up the side of the head with her loaded tail. I usually slapped her back or put the end of her tail in the bend of my knee. Besides work, we played ball, Antne over, jail base, give me a wave, walked the barrel, rolled old car tires by the mile, made pop guns out of elder bushes and shot one another, made sling shots and shot at every thing, even at each other, played marbles and spun our tops. Sometimes when there was a group of us together we would go to some body's barn and have a corncob fight. That is just a few of the things that we did for entertainment. In the fall and winter we hunted squirrels, rabbits, possums and skunks. I think a good possum hide was thirty-five cents each and a star skunk hide might have been a dollar and a half. Every body at school the next day knew when we had caught a skunk the night before without us even telling them. We also dug may apple root, ginseng, and yellow root and sold the roots after they were dried. The price wasn't much then, but ginseng today is very good, maybe over a hundred dollars a pound.
When our family increased, Dad made our attic into two bedrooms. They were hot in the summer and cold in the winter. In the fall when the wheat or corn was harvested, we would fill our ticks up with new straw or corn shucks. It made a wonderful mattress. Some people were fortunate enough to have a lot of chicken dinners, maybe a few geese or ducks, the feathers of which also made wonderful home made Simmons mattresses that really kept you warm in the winter. Every body in those days had an "outhouse" somewhere close by. Ours was out behind the smoke house. The first one that I remember was a three holer, one large hole, one medium hole and a small hole, one for papa bare, one for mama bare and one for baby bare. Then, Dad some how got one of those fancy government outhouses. It had a concrete floor, a concrete pedestal and a real seat and lid. It even had a smoke stack coming out the roof. There was always reading material in the outhouse, which consisted mostly of Montgomery and Ward and Sears and Roebuck catalogues. During the Cold winter time, we didn't spend too much time looking at the wish books. One such cold day when I was small, I came back in the house and let down my barn door and backed up to the stove to warm my back side and got too close to the hot stove and I got branded. My grand mother laid me across her lap and applied butter so it wouldn't blister too much. I have never tried that again to this day.
We had a pond down behind the barn fished in the summer and played on the ice in the winter. During the summer we would push the farm wagon out in the water to keep the rims from coming off the wheel. I still remember the parts of the wagon. It had a tongue, double tree, single trees, hounds, bolsters, coupling pole, axles, wheels bed, brakes and the brake stick. I think that's all. There was a buzzard roost about a mile and a half from our house. Each evening just before dark they would begin to gather at their roost. Many of them would pass right over our woodshed and barn. We would take the rifle out and hide from them. When they would pass over, we would shoot at them. Sometimes we could hear the bullet hit them, but they just flapped their wings and picked up speed and went on to the roost. We went down to the big old tree where they roosted, but it stunk so bad we didn't go back any more. We never did kill one and now they are a protected species.
Like all other brothers, me and my brother sometimes would get into it. One day he was on the roof of the house retrieving something that we had thrown up there. I got mad at him for something and threw the yard rake at him. I missed him and knocked the metal stove pipe off the chimney. I can't remember what Dad said about it when he came home. The house was high enough off the ground on the one side so that we could crawl up under it and play in the dirt. We spent many hours under there when we were little, especially in the summer time, because it was cool under there. The old house is still standing. If the government ever tears it down, I think I'll go back to see if I can find any antique marbles that we played with under the house.
I finally reached that magical age that ever teenager longs for, eighteen. I got me a nineteen and thirty eight Chevy and got me a job in New Albany, working at a Veneering factory. I worked there for a little over a year. I had taken up the habit of smoking and was drinking a little, but I had a praying Mother and Sister who was praying for me and my brother. My Sister, Norma was attending God's Bible School at the time. She, along with a group of singers and preachers had arranged to come home for a week end meeting at the Union Chapel Church. At the last service on Sunday night October the fourteenth, nineteen fifty-one, my brother and I went to the alter and gave our lives to Jesus Christ. I took a pack of cigarettes out of my pocket and threw them back through the church. I had Dad to dump the beer out of my trunk into the creek the next morning. I haven't tasted either since. I went back to New Albany to work the next morning and worked for about an hour. I felt within my heart that God was wanting me to become a minister, so I took off my gloves, told my boss that God had called me to preach and that I was quitting my job. He gave me his blessings; I came home and told Mom and Dad what had happened. They were glad that I was changing my life style. Their prayers had been answered. My brother, Paul also felt that God wanted him to be a minister too. So we called our sister and told her that her prayers had been answered. She came home the following weekend and we returned with them to Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After being at Bible School for about a year, I started dating a young Lady from Michigan by the name of Virginia Vandemark. We fell in love and were married. I worked and continued my schooling. Our first son, Tim was born in nineteen and fifty-two. In nineteen and fifty three, we took our first pastorate in Berrysville, Ohio for the Pilgrim Holiness Church. In nineteen and fifty-three, our second son, Aaron was born. We lived on a dairy farm where I milked forty head of cows twice a day to help make ends meet. From there, we moved to the Walker Chapel Church near Columbus, Indiana. While there we built a new parsonage and did extensive work on the church. We pastored here for eight years, and then moved to Holton, Indiana where we pastored for thirteen years. We added two more boys, Jonathan and Sammie Jr. and one daughter, Rachel to our family.
We got our daughter and quit having children. We moved to the Bethel Wesleyan Church near Columbus and just stayed there one year. I had four by-pass surgeries while there. For our last Pastorate we moved to the Ohio Street Wesleyan Church in Columbus, Indiana and was there for eighteen years; while there my wife, Virginia, passed in February, nineteen and ninety-seven from cancer. I finished the year from February to July and retired from the Church. I owned my own home there, so our Daughter Rachael lived with me and helped me through the loss of my wife.
One day I told Rachael that I would never marry again. Later, I told her that if I could find someone about the same age of her mother who had never been married, was retired and owned her own home, I might consider it. I thought there was slim chance of me finding someone like that. While at our camp meeting in Orleans, Indiana a few weeks later, I was standing in line for the evening meal when a lady walked up behind me to get in line. While waiting for them to start serving, I turned and asked her where her husband was; right out of the clear blue sky she said, "I don't have a husband, I've never been married, I'm retired and own my own home". What she said kindly floored me, because no one but my daughter knew what I had said about getting married again. The Lord must have been looking out for me. Her name was Peggy McQueen. To make a long story short, we sat together at camp two or three times. Then it was telephone calls, driving back and forth between Columbus and Bloomington where she lived. This continued almost a year. We decided that I was spending too much on gas and tires, so we were married on May twenty third, nineteen and ninety-eight. Peggy became a wife, grandmother and great grandmother in just one day. But she loves it. All the children and Grand children love her too. We now live in Bloomington, Indiana. I fill in for other pastors who go on vacations or get sick. We have our garden and a big yard to mow. I feed the squirrels and the birds. So we keep busy. We go to Crawford County quite often to see my sisters. I preached for the pastor at Union Chapel a couple weeks ago. So I thank God For Union Chapel Church where I found Christ as my Savior and for the Roberson School where I learned to read and write.
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